2001-04-10 - Vicarious Sacrifice
The Prophecy Fulfilled Series, Part 24
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell
upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.
Romans 5:6,8 For while we were still helpless, at the
right time, Christ died for the ungodly … But God demonstrates His own love
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Being the week preceding Easter I wanted to come up with something original
concerning the sacrifice of Christ. After thinking for some time, I have
concluded that there is nothing original needed in this area. The wonder
of the sacrifice of Christ for sin is quite original on its own.
We might ask ourselves who it was who died? Can we really say that on the
cross God died? Yes, we can, and He died in the place of all those who come
to him in faith and repentance. This makes the event we remember, in a special
way, this coming Sunday, an awesome event. In fact, it would be no exaggeration
to call the sacrifice of Christ for sin the most important historical event
in the history of the world.
He died to save His people. Therefore the death of Christ is the greatest
example of love ever exhibited. "Greater love has no one than this, that
one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 Christ also died to satisfy
the justice of a holy God. Sin must exact a penalty because nothing unholy
can enter the presence of God. "For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves
therefore, and be holy; for I am holy …" Leviticus 11:44 Christ's sacrifice
brings us peace with a holy God. He died in our place. That is why his atonement
is call vicarious.
Even when we think of the results of Christ's sacrifice we cannot exhaust
the theme. His sacrifice accomplished our salvation. All those who are part
of the invisible church are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. And you
might notice that I am using the past tense, "accomplished," "covered." It
is finished, and our salvation is sure. We have the resurrection as a seal
to show that God the Father accepted Christ's sacrifice.
Lastly, the sacrifice of Christ resulted in the overthrow of satan and the
kingdom of darkness. Satan no longer has dominion. He has been cast out.
"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast
out." John 12:31 He has been judged. "… because the ruler of this world
has been judged." John 16:11 Romans 16:20 tells us that God, "… will soon
crush satan under your feet." And finally, Matthew 25:41 says that an eternal
fire "… has been prepared for the devil and his angels." All these things
are true because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I hope you have a wonderful Easter and a great week preceding it. And remember,
in truth, every Sunday is Easter because every Sunday we gather with fellow
believers to remember the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,